Maintaining a weekly Mass attendance is probably more important than ever. Still, the temptation to make excuses will be strong. What if you live in a country that’s not predominantly Catholic? What if family circumstances get in the way? What if your job is compromised?
For those born Catholic, images of Christ’s crucifixion and death are not pleasant to look at or to think about. Many adults and young people alike find the fact that Jesus’ death and suffering was actually a victory over Satan. How can being scourged and dying in such a horrifying manner be considered a victory?
When people talk about Holy Week, the days that come to most people’s minds is Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. However, Catholics should be aware that it comprises of more days than that. This day, Maundy Thursday, is an excellent example.
Catholics from all corners of the globe each have their own unique customs and places of worship as they celebrate Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Today, let us explore their cultural traditions and see how our brothers and sisters in different countries share our faith.
In Catholic Tradition, there is more to St. Joseph than his mere presence in the Nativity Scene. His story and his saintly virtues also go beyond the story of Christmas. He is a role model of Christian Fatherhood in the face of today’s many modern adversities.
Out of the Church’s many saints, St. Patrick is one of the few who have also attained the status of historical legend and national icon. He is also a great example of a dedicated missionary who, above all else, put the spread of Christ’s message as his only purpose in life.
Although, Martin Luther King Jr. may be the most famous of all people to advocate for the plight of minorities in the United States, he wasn’t the first. Nearly a century before the civil rights movement, there was Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People.
We often pray for Saint Agatha’s intercession in our lives. Saint Agatha is the patron saint of nurses and of breast cancer. Our nurses provide care to so many and they do so with love and respect for each patient. They are with us in our time of need and suffering.
Saint Timothy is the patron saint of Stomach Disorders as he is known to have suffered from stomach ailments. He is a disciple of St. Paul and is credited as the co-author or several books in the New Testament.
St. Sebastian is a very popular patron saint as he is the patron saint of Athletes and Soldiers. Due to his unwaiving commitment to Christ and the courageous way he faced his martyrdom, he serves as an example of true love of God. He is usually depicted standing in front of a tree with an arrow pierced through him.
Saint Blaise was a physician and Bishop in Armenia. Blaise has been extremely popular for centuries and many cures were attributed to him.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton married a wealthy businessman and was mother to five children. When her husband passed away she established a school in Boston, Massachusetts, to educate her children. She also opened a Catholic girl’s school in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the patron saint for Loss of Parent or Child.
We pray for Saint Lucy’s intercession in our lives for the preservation of the light of our eyes. She’s the patron saint of the blind and visually impaired.
Saint Juan Diego is the patron saint of Americans and Natives. Juan Diego was a married farmer with no children. He converted to the Faith at an older age. He is most known for his vision of Our Lady in a small town north of Mexico City. She left behind an image that became known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Saint Nicholas is said to have helped a poor family in need. When one of the daughters came of age, he would give each daughter a purse full of gold coins.
The Nicene Creed is another common Catholic creed. This profession of faith is part of Mass and is recited at the start of Liturgy of the Eucharist and after the reading of the gospel and homily.
The Nicene Creed emphasizes many of the fundamental tenets of our faith. Its core affirmations include its statement of belief in the immortality of the soul, resurrection and forgiveness of sins through the baptismal process.
The Apostle’s Creed is perhaps one of the most well-known Catholic creed and is a summary of the apostles’ faith. Sometimes called the Symbol of the Apostles, it is an early statement of Christian belief and has been used by Christians since the fourth century.
The Athanasian Creed is an early summary of Christian doctrine. The authorship is often attributed to Athanasius, the archbishop of Alexandria, who lived in the 4th century A.D., hence the name.
She is the patron saint of Musicians and Singers. Saint Cecilia was given away for marriage by her parents to Valerian. She told him the secret that she has an angel protecting her from being touched by anybody. In order to see the angel he believed in God and was baptized. She spent the rest of her life converting several people to Christianity.
Saint Elizabeth was born and wed into European royalty. Although she lived a privileged life she spent her wealth and her time working with the sick and the poor. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary built hospitals and gave bread to the poor and for these acts she is the patron saint of hospitals, nurses, bakers, brides and the homeless.
Saint Gertrude rejected a marriage to a noble man in pursuit of a religious life. She was renowned for her aid to travelers, and built a monastery with her mother, Blessed Ida, at Nivelles. She is the patroness of accommodations and cats.
Saint Andrew the Apostle is the patron saint of Fishermen and Scotland. Andrew is known as the first Apostle. He was killed by being crucified on a saltire, or x-shaped cross, for baptizing Maximilla, the wife of the Roman governor of Patras. His symbol, the saltire, is featured on the flag of Scotland, where he established the Church of Saint Andrew.
St. Jude Thaddeus is the patron saint of desperate situations. He was one of the chosen Twelve Apostles, the brother of Saint James the Lesser and a cousin of Jesus Christ, whom he greatly resembles. Saint Jude made missionary journeys, during which he preached and dispensed the Sacraments.
As Christian parents how do we develop our child’s faith? We have a responsibility to train our children in the ways of God and one of the first steps is to cultivate their faith.
Faith is an important part of our spiritual journey here on earth so how do we share this with the younger generation?
Saint Luke, the Evangelist, is the patron saint of physicians, surgeons and artists. One who asks St. Luke for intercession may use one of these prayers.
Saint Gerard Majella is the patron of expectant mothers. He was born in 1726 in Muro, Italy to a family of seven. Majella grew up in a poverty with a great respect for the poor.
St. Teresa of Avila is the patron saint of Headache and Loss of Parents. She was a Carmelite nun who from early childhood was devoted to Christ. She is known as a great mystic and her writings are a testament to Her devotion to Christ and the importance of contemplative prayer.
Saint Maria Faustina is also known as the Apostle of the Divine Mercy. She was canonized as a saint on April 30, 2000.
Legend has it that St. Francis of Assisi preached to the birds and other creatures as well as to humans. He is known today as the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Saint Therese is known as “The Little Flower of Jesus” who lived her life quietly but became well known posthumously because of her spiritual autobiography.
We ask Saint Michael for his intercession while preparing for bedtime for his protection to guide and watch over our family members.
Saint Raphael is known as the patron saint of medical workers and matchmakers. He is one of seven Archangels who stand before the throne of the Lord and is often given credit for seeing the light of heaven and for receiving all good things through his intercession.
Saint Padre Pio gained fame due to his stigmata. He is one of the most popular saints and many make the pilgrimage to the church in San Giovanni Rotondo.
St. Matthew is the patron saint of accountants and bankers. Matthew was a Galilean tax collector in 63BC. He invited Jesus home for a feast. He was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
Saint Gregory is the patron saint of Educators, Musicians and Singers. He was born into a wealthy family. He sold his possessions and built monasteries in Rome and Sicily with the money he made. Gregory was elected Pope and sent Saint Austin to convert Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.